Over the years, I have been fortunate to build many departments from the ground up and implement new processes and procedures that were always focused on the customer experience. Service has definitely changed over the past few decades, but I was always willing to learn, change, innovate and continuously improve to ensure the best possible customer experience was created.
The basic principles and foundation of ensuring a consistent customer experience was learned while I was working at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. It was the launching pad for my career, and what I applied to every position held after. Consistent customer service is the only way to deliver an exceptional customer experience. To achieve consistency, you have to look at all aspects of the customer’s interaction - touch points and pain points. Over time, that led me on a passionate journey developing, improving and understanding all processes that touched the customer -from CRM implementation and training, generating robust customer data, to website and mobile user experience, to personalizing customer communications.
Customer service must be thought of holistically, meaning all the areas in which the customer interacts with an organization – the 360° view of the customer's experience. The days of customer service being just a call center to help customers resolve issues and have questions answered are over! You must be ready to innovate your service mindset to give your organization the competitive edge and stand out amongst your competition.
Incorporating all aspects of the customer’s interaction is what I call the SmartService model. By deploying this model, it will help an organization navigate it's culture, processes, and employee training in our ever-changing business world, where the total customer experience is what connects the organization to its customers.
"A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is - it is what consumers tell each other it is. "
- Scott Cook, Co-Founder of Intuit
A customer’s experience defines a brand and holds the key to acquiring and retaining customers. Without a focus on the customers experience, your sales funnel will continuously need to be replenished with cold calls or worse, with customers that have left.
So, how does deploying the SmartService model help? SmartService is a formula containing:
Customer focused Vision, Values, and Service Standards,
Understanding how the customer engages with your organization
Delivering personalized communication
Utilizing technology, customer data and analytics